WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Secretary-Treasurer Fedrick Ingram issued the following statement after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd:
“Justice was served today. It’s clear what we all saw with our own eyes: A murder happened in plain sight last year in Minnesota. Today’s verdict isn’t a panacea—justice can’t be fully served until we have equal opportunity and justice in America for everyone—but today is a huge moment.
“This is an important inflection point for police accountability and making our communities safe spaces for every human being. Because every Black person in this country has a right to live, a right to breathe and a right to be a part of their community without fear of violence and senseless attack simply for the color of their skin. The urgent matter before us is to dismantle the systemic racism that plagues us—to make the fight for anti-racism and equity a cornerstone of everything we do. To do this, we must continue to fight to address all the dimensions of inequality, including fighting for investments in communities of color—in education, community supports, healthcare and neighborhood-based public safety. We must act in their names—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others who died as a result of racism.”
“As I heard the verdict in George Floyd Square with a delegation of AFT staff and members, I was overcome with emotion thinking about last year’s tragic event and the tragic events like it that continue to happen all across the country. As a union, we will continue to show up for this community, for our members across the country and for our students—not just for single convictions of police brutality but for an entire reckoning of racial justice and equity in this country, happening in our classrooms, our communities and beyond. This decision is our ground floor—not our ceiling. We will continue the work to move this country forward.”